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Ukraine, Egypt, Japan among new members of UN Security Council

Five countries have won non-permanent seats at the UN Security Council after running unopposed. The new members are likely to draw controversy amid regional tensions around the globe.

Ukraine, Egypt, Japan, Senegal and Uruguay were announced on Thursday as the new non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The five countries ran unopposed.

The UN Security Council consists of five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US) and ten non-permanent members, each of whom is elected for a two-year term.

The other five current non-permanent members are Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela, who will step down in 2016.

Regional tensions

The new additions are likely to draw some controversy amid heightened regional tensions around the globe. Ukraine, which has been engaged in a protracted military conflict with rebels allegedly supported by Russia, has already suggested it would use the opportunity to stand up to Moscow.

"Election to the Security Council is of special importance for us as a backdrop of the ongoing Russian aggression," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told reporters earlier this week. "For the first time, we have an absolutely unique and unimaginable situation...that a permanent member of the UN Security Council is an aggressor in Ukraine."

Japan, meanwhile, has been at the center of a political storm brewing in East Asia, as claims over territories in the East and South China Seas have led to chilled relations with neighboring China.

Egypt, meanwhile, has faced criticism for its crackdown on Islamist leaders and political dissidents after President Mohammed Morsi - now facing a death sentence - was overthrown by the army in 2013.

blc/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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